S-Space Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (규장각한국학연구원) Korean Culture (한국문화) Korean Culture (한국문화) vol.40 (2007)
종교적 신앙심과 마술적 영험
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 규장각한국학연구원
- 한국문화, Vol.40, pp. 157-177
- The Samguk yusa, compiled at the end of the Koryŏ Dynasty by Buddhist monk Iryŏn, is considered today as the representative example of Korean classical literature. Since Ch’oe Nam-sŏn’s reevaluation of the text in the 1930s, the Samguk yusa has been regarded a key link in the search for an archetypal basis of Korean culture. Nevertheless, as yet, these research approaches have been conspicuous in their evaluation of Samguk yusa as a history and Iryŏn as a historian. In this paper I would apply a different frame of analysis to the Samguk yusa, choosing to interpreting the text specifically as a Buddhist text. Behind the Samguk yusa"s stories of magic and fantasy we can see the operation of a Buddhist world view and historiography. At the core of the tales, life histories, and historical Buddhist occurrences, are the Buddhist themes of the interplay between reality and illusion, fantasy and existence. While giving an account of incidents from the history of Buddhism, Iryŏn is simultaneously fabricating that history within the fantastical tales he relates.